Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.